Feeds

Toshiba touts DVD/HD DVD hybrid

Dual-layer disc to smooth hi-def format adoption

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Toshiba and fellow Japanese technology company Memory-Tech have developed the obvious successor to DualDisc: a disc that incorporates both DVD and an HD DVD playback surfaces.

Unlike DualDisc, which mounts a regular CD on the back of a DVD Audio disc, the Toshiba/Memory-Tech system uses a dual-layer structure so both formats can be played off one side of the disc.

Both discs indicate a lack of confidence in consumer demand for the higher-resolution formats. While punters readily enough dropped vinyl LPs and cassettes for CDs, they have yet to show the same enthusiasm for DVD Audio or its Sony alternative, Super Audio CD. While both offer much better audio quality than CD, their respected supporters have yet to push either format to the mass-market, preferring to target audiophiles.

DualDisc is seen as a way of enticing ordinary listeners over to the new format, but allowing recording companies to issue single-package product that supports CD along with DVD Audio, ensuring backward compatibility with today's hi-fi equipment, but allowing punters to build up a library of high-res material without being forced to splash out on a new player straight away.

The Toshiba/Memory-Tech system would presumably work the same way, allowing consumers to obtain hi-definition video content long before they feel the need to upgrade to the new technology. When they do, they'll have a ready supply of content. Having the content already is also likely to encourage consumers to upgrade to the higher-quality format sooner rather than later.

And with Sony pushing Blu-ray as an alternative to HD DVD, Toshiba undoubtedly hopes that that availability of cross-generation content will help shift the market toward the latter format rather than Sony's alternative. Toshiba recently said four major pre-recorded DVD providers have committed to HD DVD. While the format has the strength of the phenomenally popular DVD brand, it's still up against the Sony marketing machine and - crucially - the Playstation 3's role as a Blu-ray market seeder.

Both systems also assume that consumers are not going to go on a big media replacement binge like the music industry saw when buyers shifted to CD.

Both formats' success will depend on broad label adoption and non-preferential pricing. If they significantly cost more than vanilla DVDs, few buyers beyond those who'll quickly adopt HD DVD anyway will choose the hybrids.

The first discs will hold 4.7GB of DVD data and 15GB of HD DVD content, the two companies said. ®

Related stories

Major studios back HD DVD
HP confirms plans for Blu-ray
Toshiba preps HD DVD notebook PC
CE giants 'readying Blu-ray camcorders'
DVD Forum finalises HD DVD-RW disc spec
Blu-ray group mandates Microsoft codec for BD-ROM
European sofas brace for HDTV
Blu-ray movie disc format unveiled
DualDisc roll out challenged by Euro patent holder
Sony selects Blu-ray for PlayStation 3
Blu-ray founders rename, open group to new members

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.